Education About Asia: Online Archives

(culture, history, art, marriage, etc...)

NOTE: Archive articles may be downloaded and reproduced for personal or classroom use only.

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Using the Lowy Institute Asia Power Index to Teach Social Science: A Plan for a Facilitated Discussion

The Lowy Institute, one of Australia’s most well-regarded think tanks, released its second annual Asia Power Index in May 2019 (available at https://power.lowyinstitute.org). High school and college educators can use this resource to get students doing hands-on explorations of Asian political, military, economic, and diplomatic power using data. Students can learn about Asia while enhancing their data literacy and critical-thinking skills. This essay provides a plan for an interactive discussi...

Columns, Facts About Asia, Resources

Facts About Asia: South Korea and Singapore: Economic and Political Freedom

Editor’s Introduction: By the 1990s, the dynamic economic growth of four polities—Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan—earned them the nickname “Four Little Dragons.” Each of the “Little Dragons” also obtained moderate to significant levels of political freedom (Freedom House ranks South Korea and Taiwan as free and Hong Kong and Singapore as partly free). Please see our column from fall 2019 on the other two “Little Dragons”: Hong Kong and Taiwan. Economic ...

Feature Article

Asia, Power, and Robes of Honor

  More than three decades ago, my wife and I ventured overland from Istanbul to Delhi. At Herat, on the western border of Afghanistan, my wife met a group of women—a matriarch, her daughters, and daughters-in-law. Although they shared no common language, my wife accompanied them over several days while they bought and sold in the markets. The matriarch liked my wife and on the day we left insisted that she accept her old, black, beautiful, fully embroidered cloak. The women showed her ...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching China Through the Lens of Girls’ and Women’s Lives

Illiterate paternal grandparents raised Jin Shan, a teenage girl living in rural China. Her parents, unable to afford milk for their child, had no choice but to become migrant workers when Shan was seven months old. Shan remained behind with her grandparents, who farmed in the town of Xixiashu in Jiangsu Province, and did not live with her parents again until the age of ten. Shan’s experience was not unusual. In fact, it was anything but rare. Her story places her among millions of “left-...

Columns, Resources

Facts About Asia: Taiwan and Hong Kong: Economic and Political Freedom

Editor’s Introduction: By the 1990s, the dynamic economic growth of four polities—Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan—earned them the nickname “Four Little Dragons.” Each of the little dragons also obtained moderate to significant levels of political freedom (Freedom House ranks South Korea and Taiwan as free and Hong Kong and Singapore as partly free). Hong Kong and Taiwan are featured in the first of two Facts About Asia columns on the Four Little Dragons. Economic Freedom...

Book Review Essay, Key Issues in Asian Studies, Resources

Key Issues in Asian Studies: “Indonesia: History, Heritage, Culture”

With her contribution to the Key Issues in Asian Studies series—INDONESIA: History, Heritage, Culture— Kathleen M. Adams has maintained and even enhanced its well-established reputation for quality. Writing a brief yet comprehensive book is challenging because specialists must restrain themselves from delving too far into their area of expertise. Instead of presenting an in-depth look at the specific, they must focus on engaging intelligent but uninformed readers so they can grasp the basics...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

EngageAsia: An Entrepreneurial Approach to Creating Transnational Communities

EngageAsia (www.engageasia.org), a New York-based 501(c)(3) non- profit with the mission of building community in the Asia–Pacific through education, was born out of a need for a new organization with Asia-focused teacher professional development at its core, through intensive discussions between its cofounders and inaugural board, and on culling best practices from years of working with US–Japan teacher professional development programs. Most importantly, the creation of this new organizati...

Film Review Essay

Maineland: Directed by Miao Wang. Reviewed by Carol Stepanchuk

Stella (Xinyi) Zhu instantly engages with the camera: “Today is a very special day for me—I’m so happy to receive an offer from Fryeburg Academy—it’s my ideal school, my dream come true. . . I won’t let you down!” Harry (Junru) He also received an offer from Fryeburg: “I feel very fortunate, so I prepared a song for everyone,” he says in Chinese. He turns from the camera and starts to play an original composition on a piano in a room filled with books, family pictures, and m...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?

Most readers will likely find Graham Allison’s newest book, Destined for War, interesting and fresh. Many will agree with this reviewer that it is a work that may entitle Allison to join the ranks of Francis Fukuyama (The End of History) and Samuel Huntington (The Clash of Civilizations), who offer powerful templates, if not plausible theories, to help explain current international politics. This book is therefore highly recommended to students of US–China relations, strategic studies, in...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power

For the past several years, I have traveled in China at the end of September as the country ramps up for National Day on October 1. In the cities, one cannot avoid Xi Jinping’s China Dream campaign, with various attractive posters urging “Chinese spirit, Chinese culture, Chinese forms, Chinese expression.” On an internal flight, I watched Jackie Chan’s over-the-top “Kung-fu Yoga,” in which he plays a Chinese archaeologist working with a beautiful South Asian colleague to find missing...

Feature Article

The Rise of China and Its Geopolitical Implications

In 1993, Nicholas Kristof published an influential article entitled "The Rise of China" in Foreign Affairs magazine (see quotation on right). The article attracted immediate attention, as it was the first discussion of the phenomenon in a widely circulated publication. A quarter of a century later, the article remains relevant, as many of the issues continue to be important—the economic growth of China, the spread of Chinese influence in the world, and the development of geopolitical tensions ...

Feature Article, Symposium Nuclear Weapons and the Korean Peninsula

North Korea’s Nuclear Challenge

North Korea, officially Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a family dynasty. The current leader, Kim Jong-un, who succeeded his father, Kim Jong-il, in 2011, is only the third leader of the country since its founding in 1948 by Kim Il-sung. The division of the Korean peninsula into two separate countries in 1948 was perpetuated by the 1950–1953 Korean War. The two Koreas took different paths, and today, South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is one of the most dyn...

Feature Article, Symposium Nuclear Weapons and the Korean Peninsula

A New North Korean Paradigm

US policy toward North Korea has undergone a seismic shift in the wake of the 2017 US presidential inauguration, from “strategic patience” to “strategic accountability.” The world has also borne witness to a darker side of that policy shift, characterized by an escalating war of words between the United States and North Korea, or more specifically between its two leaders. Bluster-filled news headlines (and Twitter feeds) with a tenor reminiscent of Cold War-era histrionics have become th...

Feature Article, Symposium Nuclear Weapons and the Korean Peninsula

What Honors High School and Undergraduate Survey Instructors Should Know about North Korea’s Nuclear Threat

In October 2006, North Korea, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as it is officially known, detonated a small nuclear device. By the end of 2017, it had conducted four more nuclear weapons tests; the last on September 3, 2017, perhaps a hydrogen bomb, was capable of destroying a major city. It is the only country to have tested nuclear weapons in the twenty-first century. P’yŏngyang is also developing a missile delivery system that will be able to reach any part of the Uni...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World

Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World, by Graham Allison, Robert D. Blackwill, and Ali Wyne, provides a fascinating introduction to the thoughts and attitudes of one of the twentieth century’s most complex political leaders. Lee was the first prime minister of independent Singapore, continuing in that position from 1959 to 1990. After stepping down as prime minister at the age of sixty-seven, Lee continued to serve first as senior minister and t...

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